In honor of the season premiere of another season of the Biggest Loser, I thought I’d talk about maintaining a healthy body weight. I am fairly comfortable with my appearance and recognize that any doctor would deem me healthy and fit. That said, I have added a couple of pounds (okay 5) over the past year, which I would prefer to lose. My strategy will be to focus on portion control and eating more whole foods, in addition to working out at least 5 days a week.
To hold myself accountable, I will check in once a week on my progress. Rather than share my actual weight, I will go by BMI since that is standardized to everyone regardless of height. A normal BMI is 18.5 to 24.9 (overweight is 25-29.9; obese 30+). You can calculate your BMI here.
BMI does not take into consideration physical composition, however, so it is not the perfect indicator. Many athletes have a higher proportion of muscle versus fat, so their BMI is higher. I have been doing weight training consistently for almost a year, so I don’t expect my musculature to dramatically change.
Starting BMI: 25.2
Goal BMI: 24.0
- Run 4x week
- Resistance 2x week
- Drink at least 8 cups of water per day
- Bring my lunch to work at least 4 days
I’ll report back next week! Does anyone have any ideas for what to pack for lunch and snacks at work? I won’t make it throughout the day without an afternoon snack!! Otherwise I overdo it at night.
What are your tips for success?!
As much as I know that I’ll feel better once it’s done, it’s often difficult to find the motivation to go for a run or head to the gym. It’s tempting to just relax and skip that workout after a long day of work or a less than stellar night’s sleep. In these moments, I remind myself that I will feel so much better (in body and mind) if I can just push through it.
I use several tricks to up the odds of success:
1. Have a set goal per week of the number of times you’d like to work out.
For me this is usually 5 (3 runs and 2 resistance), although I don’t get too rigid with what gets done on any specific day. Having a weekly goal serves as motivation and leads to a sense of accomplishment if achieved. If you need visual rewards, but a calendar on the fridge and give yourself gold stars. It worked in Kindergarden, and it’s surprisingly effective now too.
2. Wear cute, functional clothes.
I swear, looking like an athlete is half the battle. It boosts the confidence and makes you want to act the part. Figure out what clothes work for you. Comfort is key. For me, I hate running in shorts, so tights or knee pants it is. A pocket on the back of my shirt is helpful for keys or iPod. A watch is essential. I need to know exactly how long I’ve been running. Figure out the things that matter to you and then invest in appropriate gear.
3. Try it for just 10 or 15 minutes.
Sometimes I tell myself that I just have to run for 15 mins, instead of the usual 30 plus. It is always the case that once I’m out there, I feel better and end up going the full time. Even if that doesn’t happen, 15 minutes of exercise is definitely better than none!
4. Find a buddy.
Including someone else in your plans increases your responsibility to follow through. You can’t just bail on a friend. If you don’t actually enjoy working out with another person, just coordinate schedules. My husband and I frequently workout at the same time, but he might go to the gym while I run through our neighborhood. When I see him changing to go workout, I don’t want to be the lazy one who wimps out. My butt gets kicked in gear to get out there also!
These are some things that work for me. What works for you?